Rafa Benitez Tells Some Home Truths

Rafa is right to say today in the local press that Newcastle United have not received the credit we deserve, given that we have been top of the league a lot this season and as far as the stats go we have been dominant.

It’s not just because we are a big club that we’ve managed to do this – Aston Villa have failed this season and Leeds United have found it difficult to get back to the top division since being relegated back in 2004.

Newcastle have been in an automatic promotion spot in the top two in the Championship table since last October, so that cannot be bad.

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United manager

But that doesn’t stop Championship pundits like David Prutton predicting Newcastle losing points in too many games and at the same time predicting Brighton and Huddersfield to win most of their games.

We have never quite seen the obvious bias Prutton has shown against Newcastle United this year.

Rafa Benitez has told some home truths today and this is some of what he has said as reported in the Northern Echo:

“I don’t know if we have received the credit we deserve.”

“Because I have been on both sides of the fence – teams with money, teams with no money – I used to get upset at things like this.”

“Now, what we must do is give everything.”

“People say, ‘Oh, but you have money’ – that does not matter. You just have to go out and win. We are pleased to win games, especially when we score goals and don’t concede.”

“Here, to achieve what we are trying to achieve is quite complicated. Every year, you see the teams that are relegated and not all of them do well. We still have to do our job.”

“We have to keep going, and then afterwards if people say it is because we have more money, it will still be a great achievement.”

“Everyone will have his opinion.”

“Not just me, but every single Newcastle fan would be happy to be in this position with seven games to go if we had been offered it at the start of the season.”

“We are in a fantastic position, so we just have to concentrate and try to make the most of it.”

If we can get promotion then Rafa will see the Newcastle fans go crazy and celebrate big time because we are back in the Premier League at the very first attempt.

We also have the makings of a good side.

Certainly nobody associated with Newcastle underestimates the fabulous job Rafa has done in just over a year.

We suppose this is what happens when Newcastle have a world-class manager.


Long may it continue and if we do get promoted we can start to really dream again this summer, which promises to be a very exciting one for Newcastle fans everywhere.

What could possibly be better than that?

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • jimmysmith

    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #1

    “People say, ‘Oh, but you have money’ – that does not matter.

    I’m sure it matters a bit Rafa, let’s be reasonable, otherwise Burton might well be just as likely to be in the mix for the title just as we are, which they clearly and not at all surprisingly aren’t.

  • martoon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #2

    jimmysmith – Obviously you need money but Rafa’s point is it doesn’t guarantee success – Villa have spent big and are nowhere.

  • jimmysmith

    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #3

    Haha, yeah I get it, but you can hardly diminish how much financial clout we have relative to other sides to the point of saying it doesn’t matter, when it clearly very much does.

  • cyprus

    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #4

    It sounds like two camps, one swatting the other’s ignorance, but it’s usually a fact that effective and attractive do go hand in hand.

    I appreciate the fact that Rafa, Ritchie and others who have spoken about this, agree with me:)

    They recognize it’s boring, but there’s an all important job to be done, which they’re doing.

    But they, like me, would like a better spectacle. It’s not necessarily either or.

  • Jib

    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #5

    Fernando Torres given the bird by Atletico fans last night.
    I wonder if he fancies a season in the PL ?

  • cyprus

    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #6

    On the arsenal comment I don’t know any fans remeniscing the boring arsenal (yet winning) days. They are proud of their team now, they just want that extra push for gold. With a Pogba style signing to prove intent.

    The ones that want Wenger out may regret it.


    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #7

    Hes got a point about how under appreciated the job done has been just because we had money, we spent within our means and at a level for a club our size but that doesn’t make it easy. Every club we beat and every win we rack up is put down to money spent and every loss is a one for the under dog…not often its seen as the better team winning which is what we are, the best team in the league by some distance

    Personally I think we’ve done a brilliant job so far

  • posada

    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #8

    Last summer we had a problem.
    We could not attract top premier league players. Too much money.
    We had to sign players good enough to get us out of the Championship, but on wages that would not prohibit their sale, once getting back to the Prem.
    We had to recruit from a fairly narrow band.
    If that makes sense.

  • lesh

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #9


    I’d suggest that Rafa’s comments in this and the previous comments are intended for Ashley’s consumption and consideration – just in case he has any ideas of playing silly beggars about Rafa’s contract, funds and authority.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #10

    We are better than most teams in the championship but by not much.. Need significant signings to make sure we are ready for survival next season..

  • BeeGuy

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #11

    It won’t be easy bringing in new talent for next year in the Prem, unless the is a sea change in the front office to support the manager on a long term basis.

  • magpie6699

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #12

    Wish people wouldn’t keep musing on how much Ashley will spend on players, which players we should go for etc. – WE”RE NOT THERE YET!
    More importantly, has anything been said about when Clark or Yedlin might be fit again?


    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #13

    West Brom and Watford are 8th and 9th respectively and we need significant signings to just survive?

  • martoon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #14

    lesh @9 – I’m sure you’re right there is a bit of that as well. I still think his main point is just because you are a big club with some money it doesn’t guarantee promotion as shown by clubs such as Villa, Norwich and Leeds.

  • AncientC

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #15

    What is some peoples problem with the blog discussing potential signings for next season. The club would be neglecting its duty if it was not already looking at players for PL football next season, so why can’t fans of the club converse about who those targets may be – or who would be a good fit.

    If some people are superstitious – fair enough, but don’t force your mythical/mystical beliefs onto others.

  • lesh

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #16


    You’re right of course and Ashley sure as hell’ll be one who thinks that spending brings instant success.

  • cyprus

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #17


    The answer is yes. Sadly and pathetically we aren’t at Watford’s or West brom’s level.

    For comparisons, look lower at the likes of Hull and Sunderland. And they’d definitely give us, at least, a game.

    We need serious signings. Like was said, we are better than championship teams, but just. No one is getting blown away.

  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #18


    Well said,


    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #19

    I think thats very harsh on our lads. All our of back 5 have performed in the PL, Shelvey was an England international and led Swansea to their best ever season, Hayden will only get better, Colback has spent the majority of his career in the PL, Gayle was Palaces top scorer in the PL despite never getting a chance, Ritchie was one of Bournemouths best players, Diame has performed there as has Perez and Mbemba

    We certainly will need more players but I dont see how we are so far behind any of the bottom 10 currently plus we have a better manager than any of them

  • martoon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #20

    lesh @16 – You’re spot on there – Ashley is used to if you invest in a business then you get a return. As we all know football is not like that it’s very easy to spend £10m on a dud (and we have quite a few times). I think he is finally starting to understand that with a top class manager like Rafa the money will be spent wisely but unfortunately all manages will have failures but will Ashley realise this?

  • cyprus

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #21

    Would prefer that you’re right 🙂


    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #22

    Just looked up Watford and West Broms line ups from last night…Id not be looking to trade squads

  • toonincheek

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #23

    While I believe MA will make decent money available,
    it should be remembered that the extra money available
    from the PL won’t come in until the END of next

    MA has NEVER wanted to spend money until
    it’s been earned. He may well bend his own rules
    a bit this summer, but I think decent buys to consolidate
    our position as a mid- to upper-mid club would be
    fair for the first season.

    I suspect Rafa may want more than that.

  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #24


    Our back 5 have performed in the prem but poorly, Only Yedlin hasn’t been relegated. Lascelles struggles in the Championship, Colback is no where near Prem standard he has played for us and the scum, Diame is poor in the champ as is Perez these players are Okay but will for the most part need to be improved otherwise we will be in for a struggle.

    Ritchie,Shelvey,Gayle,Yedlin,Atsu,Elliot,Krul maybe Clark,Hayden,Anita are of a decent Prem quality but we will still need 5/6 to try and cement a place for more than 1 season back in the Prem, providing of course we make it up.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #25

    I’d say that atm, out squad is about on par with Sunderland boro hull, but we’re still very much behind the likes of West Brom bournemouth Watford stoke Swansea Burnley palace and all the rest, in terms of quality, certain types of players in the squad etc

  • JamesToon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #26

    It’s debateable about our squad being on par with boro tbh Gibson friend valdes Ramirez forshaw traore negredo would be walk into ours

  • martoon

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #27

    WWSBRD – I’d like to think you’re right about our squad but there is some weight to Cyprus’s argument in the fact that we couldn’t beat Hull in the cup – especially as we fielded a strong team and I think they were down to 10 men if I remember correctly.


    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #28

    Darlow, Anita, Lacelles and Dummett lost 3/10 under Rafa in the PL after barely anytime under him thats poor? Colback gets a lot of stick but is certainly a good squad member for a PL team. Diame is playing out is playing out of position but was great for Wigan, West Ham and Hull when he wasnt and Perez is better suited to PL football with enough skill to succeed

    My point is we dont need a new squad to survive in the PL, u just have to look at the squads in the PL to see that. To compete for top 8 aye we need a big overhaul but to survive? Not for me

  • toonincheek

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #29


    Maybe the idea should be to swap those 7 Middlesbrough
    players with 7 of our squad, if those Middlesborough
    players have played well in the Prem and the 7 that
    we can exchange know what’s required to get


    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #30

    Haha no Boros defence would walk into our squad but the rest are utter trash

    We dominated Hull whilst having a keeper who couldnt make a save. Also taking 1 game in isolation is pretty pointless…we destroyed Spurs in our last game of the season and they are challenging for the title now does that mean we will be next season? Blackburn beat us twice this season where are they in the league?

  • Jib

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #31

    Our defenders performed badly last season until Rafa arrived.

    We conceded in each of his first four games until he had a good look at the squad.

    In his last six games we never lost.

    With a goal difference of +39 , to say Lascelles performs badly in the Championship is frankly laughable.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #32

    Watching video highlights, it seems that Lascelles has
    been involved in far too many of the unfortunate and
    unpredictable ‘lapses’ that have led to us conceding

    I reckon he can’t be far from being “rested” but
    probably not until Clark is back.

  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #33


    Exactly he seems to be involved in far too many stupid mistakes, especially when any pressure is on him. Will the Prem be easier for him?

    Clark is a much better defender than him.

  • wynsleap

    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #34

    JamesToon @ 26
    Have to agree with most of that.
    If Boro do go down this season I would like to see Rafa put a bid in for Traore. That guy is sheer dynamite once he decides to go at the defence and his speed is frightening. He just needs a good manager to show him where he need to go on the pitch and how to find that extra final finish to his runs as his end product is not quite there yet.
    But, without question, he’s exciting on the move.
    If our boss could do that (and I’m sure he’d get the best out of the lad) we would have some weapon on our hands!


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